A New Chapter

Thursday, 15 January 2015

So not only is it January so a new year but today is my penultimate day at my current job at the university where I have studied and worked for the past 10 years.

It feels very strange.

I know the reasons I am moving are solid, I need a new challenge, I need to achieve in a new sector to further my career and the location of my new role will enable me to have more time with my family and less time on the road. However, this doesn't make leaving any the easier no matter how excited I am.


I ended up at the university by default. I had applied to St Martins and to put it bluntly, they didn't want me - so my second choice was where I ended up. I didn't even look round the institution, they gave me an unconditional offer and I accepted on the spot. Some may say this was naive but with pride and a tricky home situation on my shoulders this was a golden ticket in my 18 year old eyes.

The degree course was interesting but the institution as a whole was mind-blowing. An institution that thrived on diversity, culture, ambition and free thinking. I loved the buildings, the people but mostly the outlook. I worked for the Widening Participation team first as a Student Ambassador working with young people from first generation families who had never even conceived of going to university. I helped them write personal statements, talked them through student finance and explained the importance of education.

From Student Ambassador, I became a Colleges Partnership Officer and then into the Careers Team I supported students during their degrees and post graduation as a Project Manager.

I know every security guard, the coffee shop lady knows how I like my coffee and our Vice Chancellor and I share an avid loathing of DIY. Some may say I am institutionalised, others may say I have invested a lot of time and passion into what I do and the institution where I work. My director also makes this awesome heart shaped chocolate gateau for every special occasion...( secretly hoping she might make one for tomorrow's leaving do...)

The thing that makes where I work so special is the students. They have come from so many different backgrounds, faced various challenges and barriers along the way and bring such varied outlooks on life, yet they all come together as one harmonious student body and make this rich and vibrant community that is an absolute privilege to work in and support.

This is what I will miss. This unpretentious, embracing and approachable haven that enables people to learn, share and grow.

The University of East London may not be top of the league tables but it really depends on what you are grading on. I am a UEL graduate and I have achieved. It is largely thanks to the opportunities, networks and valuable colleagues and friends I have made along the way.

So it is now time to say good bye and pack my new school bag for my next big career adventure, I am incredibly excited....

Goodbye UEL never go changing,



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